Would you be willing to pay a tax on your cocktail if the money went towards a good cause? That's what one California assemblywoman is hoping people are willing to do. According to CBS, Susan Bonilla introduced a bill on Monday that would add a five cent charge to each cocktail sold at restaurants and bars across the state of California. (There's no word on whether or not it applies to just hard liquor.) The revenue from the tax would go towards "providing people with developmental disabilities and their families necessary services" such as transportation and supported living programs.
During the most recent recession, the programs to help those with developmental disabilities were downsized thanks to the $1 billion cut in the state's budget. Bonilla notes: "The problem is regional center workers are already extremely overburdened with caseload ratios of one worker to every seventy-five individuals seeking services." She thinks that the proposed tax, also known as the Cocktails for Healthy Outcomes Act, could generate over $200 million annually for these services.
Taxing food and drink to create positive changes in the community is not a new concept. In March, the Navajo Nation added a two percent sales tax to all junk food items such as chips, soda, and candy. The estimated $1 million revenue from the tax will go towards building parks, wellness centers, basketball courts, trails, swimming pools, and creating health education classes in the community.